Three Signs Your Green Roof is Healthy

Posted by Ecogardens

Green roofs thrive in the spring and we use many visible indicators to keep plant diversity strong and healthy.

We often talk about how green roofs are different from landscapes on the ground, and never is that more obvious than in the spring. Luckily, there are some signs to look for to ensure your green roof health is optimized and thriving for the upcoming growing season.

#1) How is Your Plant Diversity?

Plant diversity is an important part of green roof health, often including many varieties of plants.

Plant diversity is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it support a healthy local ecosystem and attract diverse populations of insects of birds but it also ensures that if one plant species suffers from pests or environmental conditions, other species will move in to help maintain plant density (i.e. your roof will still look stellar). 


We keep an eye on plant diversity all year, as it’s one of the main visible indicators to the long-term health of your green roof. But in the spring, it takes some experience to see what exactly your green roof is telling us. Different plants will respond to the conditions on your green roof in different ways, and it’s not always evident on the first visit how your plants weathered the winter. If there are any changes in plant diversity and health, we will know how to address it.

#2) How is the Drainage on Your Roof?

On the first visit every spring, we’ll take a hard look at the drainage on your green roof, taking scrupulous notes as to what we see. However, on that first visit, your green roof could still be responding to snowmelt or lingering winter conditions. It’s not until the second visit that issues will reveal themselves. If water collects in places it shouldn’t, or there are soft spots in certain areas, that could signify an issue with the growing media or drainage. This is a perfect example of why continuous stewardship is an important part of our plan to keep your green roof healthy.

#3) What Weeds are Popping Up?

Weeds and other plants from ground level can often find their way to green roofs.

Interestingly enough, weeds can be their own form of alert. Different weeds come up at different times of the year, and often not in tandem to what we’re seeing on ground landscapes. If we’re proactive in our care, using as many natural methods as possible, weeds are a minor nuisance. But weeds can become a major problem if not taken care of properly. 

While assessing your green roof health this spring, we’ll consult and perform a first aid report (for free no less!), then offer proposals to fix or properly maintain your green roof. While the above three issues are the most common, we’re adept at sniffing out and solving the most elusive problems. Need to safely relocate baby ducklings and their momma from a roof? Sure! Trust us, we’ve seen it all and solved it all.

We frequently inherit green roofs that have long been neglected and we have years of experience not only building green roofs, but resurrecting, nurturing, and taking long-term care of them, regardless of their condition. If you think your green roof could benefit from a quick peek by a professional, contact us below.



Topics: Green Roofs, Stewardship

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